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Statement from Minister Champagne on Canada's Telecommunications Reliability Agenda following Rogers' outage on July 8, 2022

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VANCOUVER, BC, Sept. 7, 2022 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, issued the following statement:

"On July 11, in the days following the massive Rogers network outage, I convened a meeting with the CEOs of Rogers and the other major wireless telecommunications companies.

"I first expressed in no uncertain terms the frustration of millions of Canadians, emergency services providers and small businesses who were affected for more than 15 hours.

"I directed them to take immediate action to improve network reliability across Canada, giving them 60 days to enter into a formal agreement to ensure and guarantee emergency roaming, mutual assistance, and a communications protocol for advising the public and government during major outages and other emergencies.

"Today, I can report to Canadians that a formal agreement has been reached by these companies, along with a number of other telecommunications service providers offering Internet and mobile services.

"As of September 9th , should one of these providers be faced with a major network outage, the other companies have committed to provide the support and assistance necessary so that Canadians can reach loved ones, access 911, and conduct business transactions.

"As part of this agreement, the companies also commit to providing clear and timely communications to keep Canadians and appropriate authorities informed about response and restoration during major network outages.

"The Rogers outage of July 8 was unacceptable, and we must do everything possible to ensure something similar does not happen again in the future, as I said at the time.

"Canadians deserve strong, reliable, and affordable telecommunications networks.

"The agreement reached between Canada's major telecommunications companies is only a first step. We have an ambitious telecommunications resiliency agenda around three pillars:

  • robust networks and systems

  • coordinated planning and preparedness

  • strengthening accountability

"To that effect, I'm announcing a series of additional steps, including the following:

  • I directed the Canadian Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (CSTAC) to come up with further measures within six months to ensure robust and reliable telecommunications networks across the country.

  • The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is pursuing a detailed investigation of Rogers' recent outage, including new measures the company is putting in place.

  • I have instructed my department to review all appropriate regulatory measures to be implemented aimed at strengthening the reliability and safety of our networks.

  • I welcomed during the summer a delegation to advance the work on a Public Safety Broadband Network.

  • As a further step to strengthen the resiliency in our telecommunications system, together with the Minister of Emergency Preparedness, my colleague Minister Blair, we are supporting the advancement of a Public Safety Broadband Network that will benefit all Canadians. This is a priority for the Emergency Management Strategy for Canada, and we are committed to working with stakeholders to support the operationalization of this network.

"As we move forward, I will continue to hold Canada's telecommunications service providers accountable, and keep Canadians updated on the work our government is doing to strengthen the reliability of our networks and granting affordability and competition."

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2022/07/c5762.html